“I’m the first to admit I’m not much of a cook. But since soup mainly involves tossing everything in a pot and waiting, it’s one of my better dishes.”~ Suzanne Collins ~
There is something about cold, wintery, blustery days that just calls for soup. We have had plenty of them in the last few weeks and soup is indeed my comfort food of choice at the moment.
This soup is one of my sister’s. I don’t really deviate in any way from her recipe, until it comes to the toppings. When I did my vegan month, back in November, she suggested this as something that could work quite well during it. And, boy, was she right! In fact, I’d get up early once a week, and make the soup (minus the blending) before I went on my morning walk. At that time, like now, we were in the middle of a national lockdown (and just in case you are reading this in 100 years, it was Covid-19 times!), and I was working from home, teaching ESL. Except for one week, I had this soup at least 3 days every week of vegan month.
Since then, I’ve made it loads – especially when we went back into lockdown in January and the days felt even colder than they did in November. It’s thick and filling with simple ingredients. There are only 5, besides the fat, seasonings as well as the toppings, which are optional. The main thing about this soup that makes it different is the method.
For toppings, my sister usually uses basil, as do I, but I also use almonds. I mostly eat this without any carbs but, occasionally, I eat it with a toasted bagel, grilled cheese, a Tuna Burger , croutons or quesadillas for a difference – especially if I have it in the evening. So, feel free to make it your own.
Smyles’ 5 Ingredient Tomato Soup
- 1 largish carrot, sliced
- 1 medium white/yellow onion, chopped
- 1- 2 garlic cloves, peeled but whole*
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly groud pepper to season
- 500g passata
- 500ml vegetable or chicken stock*.
- 1 piece basil per bowl
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds per bowl, toasted
- 3-4 croutons per bowl=
- Get a piece of tin foil larger than the bottom of the pot you are going to use. Crinkle it into a circle the size of the bottom of your pot..
- Put the pot on low heat, 2 maximum, and add the carrot, onion, garlic, butter/oil, salt and pepper.
- Cover with the vegetables with the foil, non-shiny side down, pushed down onto the vegetables and make sure no veggies are peaking out (see photo above). This is so that you seal the vegetables in, ensuring they retain their flavour and don’t brown.
- Leave for 25-30 minutes. I check the veg and stir it at 20 min to ensure the fat is still covering everything and, then, put the foil back on for another 5 -10 min. It’s very forgiving so if you forget it for a little longer, it’s fine.
- At 30 min, or when the vegetables are nice and tender, remove the foil, stir in the passata and stock, increase the tempeature to to 4 (medium high) and bring to the boil.
- Cover with a lid, reduce heat and cook for about 30 min.
- Once cooked, if using immediately, blend using an immersion blender. If some of your carrots don’t seem to be blending, transfer to a narrower pot.
- Just before blending, turn your grill/broiler on, and toast your almonds whilst blending, if using. I don’t add any seasoning at this point but you are more than welcome to.
- If not using immediately, you can still blend now or set aside to blend when eating. I’d also wait to make the almonds at that point as well.
- Top with basil, almonds and/or croutons and enjoy.
Garlic – I want the tomato to shine, so I usually use about 2 cloves. However, if you want it to be more garlicky, please feel free to add more.
Stock – I usually use a cube of vegetable stock and my sister uses homemade chicken stock. Recently, I made a batch with half vegetable cube and half black bean stock I had leftover and it was a game changer.